A TOWN centre's ambitious development plans have been thrown into turmoil following a retail giant 'stalled on its commitments'.

Marks and Spencer is said to be reconsidering opening a foodhall in Chorley's Market Walk extension.

The news comes just weeks after TK Maxx decided not to open a store in the new £17million development.

Shopping centre owner Chorley Council said it was extremely disappointed about the change of heart after being given several reassurances by the retailer up until this week.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “I can’t express how annoyed we are by the messing about we’ve had from Marks and Spencer but we are where we are and it throws up an opportunity for us to look again at the proposals and see where we go next.

“It’s incredibly frustrating but the investment that we’ve made is still relevant because we’ve been doing all the preparation work or improvements that would have had to have been made anyway to develop the shopping centre.

“Our understanding is that out of the dozens of new stores Marks and Spencer were due to open only a handful are now being progressed, which shows this is a national concern and not just one relating to Chorley.

“This is in part caused by unprecedented political events we’ve seen in the country this year, which creates a lot of uncertainty in the economy.

"It maybe that they will still decide to come to Chorley but while they finish their review we don’t know exactly what their plans are.”

Chorley Council is trying to revitalise the town centre.

The shopping centre extension is just a part of those wider plans.

Cllr Bradley said: “We still have several businesses that we are in discussions so this is a delay rather than the end of the extension plans. It’s a chance for us to reconsider the position in light of the national picture and ensure the development is the best it can be for our traders and residents.”

In the meantime, the council will be looking to re-open some of the parking spaces that are currently fenced off on the Flat Iron car park and open Woodlands as an additional free park and ride location next week to provide more parking spaces in the run up to Christmas.